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Phase 4 Films Inks Alliance with The Criterion Collection

Phase 4 Films, a leading full service independent studio, today announced that it has acquired ESI Distribution, one of the leading home entertainment distributors in the U.S. market, and has signed a distribution agreement with The Criterion Collection, consisting of some of the greatest films from around the world published in the highest technical quality.

This announcement comes soon after Phase 4's December 2013 notice of a signed distribution agreement with Shout! Factory, LLC. Combined, these agreements strengthen Phase 4's position as a leading North American content distributor, adding thousands of titles to a consistently expanding library.

"Criterion and Shout! enhance our ability to offer consumers a broad selection of high quality content, while ESI brings a perfect blend of content and vendor relationships, particularly with Costco in the U.S." said Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films. "We are thrilled to be collaborating with these new partners to further exploit our brands through an expanded and direct distribution network across all media in both Canada and the United States."

"We needed a partner that could maximize our opportunities in Canada while simultaneously servicing some of our key U.S. accounts," remarked Jonathan Turell, CEO of The Criterion Collection. "Our alliance with Phase 4 is an important next step that brings The Criterion Collection's library of classic and contemporary films into even more households in North America."

"Phase 4 lives the credo of being a true service oriented company. They are the perfect transition partner to continue the legacy of providing great service to all 3rd party suppliers," stated ESI co-owners Kirk Andreasen and Brien Culver. "The synergy in our business model with Phase 4 was a natural catalyst to join forces."

Phase 4 Films is also releasing The Criterion Collection's The Great Beauty on VOD February 25th. The film recently won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and is nominated for an Academy Award in the same category.

About Phase 4 Films: Phase 4 Films ( is one of the leading full service independent studios. With offices in nine cities in the U.S. and Canada, Phase 4 provides a full range of services relating to the sales, marketing, licensing and distribution of feature films, television and special interest content across all media in the North American market. Phase 4 is unique in the independent space as it maintains direct distribution relationships with major and secondary accounts across all content channels. Its recent releases include The Baytown Outlaws, starring Eva Longoria and Billy Bob Thornton, Shana Betz' Free Ride starring Anna Paquin, and Lucy Walker's critically-acclaimed The Crash Reel. Upcoming releases include Goodbye World, starring Adrian Grenier, and the Jay-Z documentary Made in America, directed by Ron Howard. Its dedicated kids & family label, kaboom! Entertainment, is one of the most recognizable brands in the market.

About The Criterion Collection: Since 1984, the Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films headquartered in New York City, has been dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. The foundation of The Collection is the work of such masters of cinema as Renoir, Godard, Kurosawa, Cocteau, Fellini, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Hitchcock, Fuller, Lean, Kubrick, Lang, Sturgess, Dreyer, Eisenstein, Ozu, Sirk, Buñuel, Powell and Pressburger. Criterion is noted for setting the standard for film supplements that enable viewers to appreciate Criterion films in context, through audio commentaries by filmmakers and scholars, restored director's cuts, deleted scenes, documentaries, shooting scripts, early shorts, and storyboards. To date, more than 150 filmmakers have contributed to Criterion's library of Director Approved DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and laserdiscs, making it the most significant archive of contemporary filmmaking available to the home viewer.

About ESI Distribution Ltd.: Started by Kirk Andreasen and Brien Culver in 1989, ESI Distribution Ltd. has brought a wide variety of DVD content and consumer electronics to a strong marketplace developed through time and trusting relationships. Brien, who resides in Texas, manages the corporate office and product distribution located centrally in a historic facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Kirk, a Washington state native, conducts the sales of the company from an office on picturesque Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, Washington. ESI has a strong 25 year history of selling consumer goods to the membership warehouse clubs, including CD's, VHS, DVD's, books, computer software, musical instruments and fitness equipment.

About Shout! Factory, LLC: Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory's DVD and Blu-Ray offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras. Shout's audio division boasts GRAMMY-nominated box sets, Broadway cast albums, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable "best of" compilations. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America. Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit

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